John from Richmond, VA

If the screen is designed to beat the blitz, what did Denver do tonight to beat the screen?

They didn’t allow time for the screen to develop. That’s how hard and fast they rushed. The Broncos were playing at a different speed than the Packers were. I don’t know why it was that way, it just was.

Bill from Morris, IL

How did the old man do it?

He looked rested and strong. He threw the ball crisply. I was impressed.

Isaac from Riverside, CA

What can Green Bay and us fans learn from this stinging loss.

Humility. I suspect Mike McCarthy’s remarks to the media in his postgame press conference are the same opinions he’ll share with his players, and Coach McCarthy’s main postgame theme was about this having been a humbling loss. Maybe we all needed a dose of it. It never hurts to be humble.

Dan from South Range, WI

I guess Manning isn’t done. So, do we look back on this game at season’s end as a nail in the coffin or a building block that propelled a playoff run?

It’s hardly a nail in the coffin. Truth be known, it wasn’t nearly as big a game as the one the Packers will play in Carolina. That one has tiebreaker written all over it. Win that one and all is well with the world. Lose it, and the landscape of the season will change dramatically.

Steve from Lake Stevens, WA

Did any particular aspect of this loss surprise you most?

I’m stunned the Packers weren’t able to pressure Peyton Manning. I expected the Packers’ pass rush to be every bit as effective as the Broncos’.

Charles from Omaha, NE

I’m not going to call for anybody’s head, but how do we fix this?

You run the ball. Eddie Lacy is the fix. He’s the guy defenses fear. The Packers have got to get him back on track. He’s the player who puts the Packers in favorable down and distance. He’s the player who controls the tempo and forces the opponents to react schematically. It’s no coincidence the Packers were at their best last night, briefly, when they were able to mix run and pass. I’m talking about their second-quarter touchdown drive. The Packers drove 80 yards in 10 plays and six of those plays were runs. Everybody’s worried about the passing game. Fix the running game and the passing game will follow.

Jerry from Puyallup, WA

Sometimes you lose and sometimes you take a thorough beat down. Is it safe to say the Packers’ response to this game will define their identity?

I believe a team’s identity is formed late in the season, because what a team does late in the season is how history will record that team. Coach McCarthy mentioned something called “Hero’s Journey” as representing the identity he wants his team to achieve. Give it a read. I did. As for last night, no, I don’t believe that game or the Packers’ reaction to it is going to define their identity. That game is one we’re going to forget very quickly. Why? Because that wasn’t the Packers. The Packers were out of character last night, and I give the Broncos credit for taking the Packers out of their personality.

Nate from Hales Corners, WI

Almost nobody beat the man across from them, yet, I don’t see any lack of talent from the Packers. Do teams just have off days?

It was an ambush. It happens. I don’t think there’s a team in the league that could’ve beaten the Broncos last night.

Margo from Bloomington, IL

Vic, players, not plays indeed. Denver has many more better players. Is it really just that simple?

They had better players last night. On another night, it might be different. Here’s my take on what happened: The Broncos were able to stop the Packers with the Broncos’ base defense. That means they were able to stop the run with seven in the box. That’s not a loaded box. The Packers should’ve been able to run against seven in the box. In my mind, it’s that simple.

Fred from Yreka, CA

You still think the Packers are a championship-caliber team? It looks like they are just average and have actually been somewhat lucky. I think this game showed us they are just pretenders.

I have no doubt the Packers are a championship contender, but this isn’t the time of year to worry about that kind of stuff. December will identify the championship contenders. I believe the Packers will be one of them.

Paul from Oxford, NC

It looks like the Broncos watched the Chargers film.

I’m sure they did, but it appears to me they decided not to do what the Chargers did. The Broncos ran the ball and threw it down the field. The Broncos were beautifully balanced – 34 runs, 29 passes. They gained 11.7 yards per pass play.

Jake from Minneapolis, MN

If you said to me before the game we wouldn’t be able to sack Manning, I wouldn’t have believed you. Why weren’t the Packers able to get to the quarterback?

Because they were being blocked. It happens. The other guys get paid, too.

Don from Albuquerque, NM

Seems like our offense could’ve done to the Broncos what the San Diego offense did to us with the quick, short passes. Why not?

I didn’t see evidence of that. The coverage was tight everywhere.

Richard from Eleva, WI

I think this Packers team is not as good as we’ve been lead to believe. I think the Packers may be in trouble the rest of the season. Do you agree?

No.

David from Kenosha, WI

At times it seemed Rodgers had time in the pocket, yet, didn’t throw the ball. I know Denver’s coverage was good, but I always thought Rodgers was the best at throwing into tight spaces. Do you think Rodgers has been too cautious with the football lately in trying to avoid an interception?

What I saw last night is the best performance by a secondary since I can’t remember when. When you mix in the Broncos’ pass rush, the combination was too much to overcome. Cris Collinsworth made an astute observation late in last night’s game. He said had the Broncos been playing against a less skilled quarterback, they would’ve had 10 sacks.

Robert from Madison, WI

Last week, I submitted a question/statement basically saying Peyton Manning has a dead arm, the Packers defense will stand tall and the real difference in the game would be Rodgers’ ability to make plays against an overrated Broncos defense. Well, I was wrong. The Broncos looked prepared and executed brilliantly; the Packers looked like they just got back from a vacation away from football. Will this loss help to galvanize the team, or will it be a harbinger of things to come?

I think a lot of us analyzed the game last week with our hearts. Last night, we witnessed it with our eyes. Don’t worry about galvanizing or harbingers. The value of last night’s game is the Packers got an opportunity to play against the gold standard of NFL defenses. Now they know where the bar is, and how high they have to reach. The AFC is strong this year.


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